The service tonight did not lend itself to being audio recorded, and I didn't arrange for a video either. Here's what we had: various Scripture readings and group hymn singing. So, I'm going to paste the complete outline, and try to find video embeds for all of the hymns. Hymn numbers included are Baptist Hymnal 2008 from Lifeway. Merry Christmas to all. Doug
“Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1, NAS)
Joy to the World Hymn #181
“The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ” (Luke 2:10–11, NAS)
How Great Our Joy Hymn #202
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:14, NAS)
Hark the Herald Angels Sing was actually an unintended, and not peaceful, collaboration of George Whitefield and John and Charles Wesley. The story is that the Wesleys had written the hymn, and Whitefield changed the opening line to what it is today. Realize that, whatever other disagreements that exist: Glory to the newborn King is what matters most!
Hark the Herald Angels Sing Hymn #192
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say,
REJOICE!” (Philippians 4:4, NAS)
Good Christian Men Rejoice Hymn #183
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; ” (Hebrews 10:19–23, NAS)
O Come All Ye Faithful
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. ” (Isaiah 7:14, NAS)
Longfellow had lost two wives, and was living in a country destroyed by war. Yet he found comfort, the rebirth of his faith: God is not dead, nor doth He sleep!
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. ” (Isaiah 9:6, NAS)
Rejoice in finding peace around the manger, across cultures and times, languages and disasters, finding peace in that moment: the Incarnation of God, the point in history that we see that truly, we are not alone.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. ” (Matthew 5:14–16, NAS)
Take your candle with you: you are the light. Carry it with you!